Recycling Plastics


The current global concern over the increased number of wasteproducts that continues to put the environment at risk has triggereddifferent activities in various countries. The ecosystem in differentparts of the world faces degradation despite the efforts by differentbodies to solve the problem. There are several companies that recycleproducts that can compromise the future environmental safety. In theUnited States, there is an increased use of plastics both forindustrial and domestic use (Scott, 2013).

Environmental goods and services have continued to receive increasingattention in the local and international circles due to theopportunities they provide. EGS is responsible for protecting theecosystem by reducing the amount of waste in the environment. Theenvironmental goods and services are also compliant with theMillennium Development Goals that focus on improving the environmentin which human being exist (Buekens &amp Yang, 2014). EGS alsocontribute to sustainable livelihoods by providing a greenenvironment and employment to a big number of people employed in theindustry. It also supports sustainable consumption and viablepatterns of production. EGS are vital in supporting climate changeand mitigation of problems that arise in the environment includingirresponsible dumping among others. There is also the creation ofopportunities for a green economy, green trade, green financing andgreen jobs.

The plastics industry is the third largest in the manufacturingsector in the United States. The industry employs more than 900,000workers, and it is therefore, a building block in the economy (Scott,2013). Including the people who are engaged indirectly raises thenumber to 1.4 million. However, despite the high production, most ofthe people are ignorant of the recycling procedures and the productsthat recyclers can make from waste plastics. The EnvironmentProtection Agency in the various states considers the increased wasteplastics as a threat to the community, and it has intensified thelandfill activities. Of all the plastics produced in the UnitedStates, only 31.2% end up in recycling industries (Scott, 2013). Therest is either dumped indiscriminately or put in landfills. Most ofthe people who dispose of plastics irresponsibly are oblivious of thebenefits that they can draw from the products. The production ofplastic is usually high to meet the demand in the market. Most of theshopping complexes and grocery shops use plastics as wrappers(Buekens &amp Yang, 2014). Highlighting these alternative productswill be instrumental in changing their attitude towards plastics andencourage responsible disposal for recycling.


Mohawk is one of the industries that are passionate about recyclingplastics and drawing quality products from the waste. In an articledubbed Navigating Roadblocks to recycled content, Jenny Cross, thevice president of the company points out that many companies haveimplemented actions to reduce the waste plastics by putting them inlandfills (Cross, 2015).. Although landfilling is a diversionprogram, it does result in any gain from the environment and theplastics users. Mohawk focuses on recycling plastics and making thebest use of the materials by making quality products that most peoplefind attractive. The company’s management works hard to comply withthe Environmental Goods and Services framework that classifiesimportant products (Cross, 2015).

Rationale for

The production of plastics is increasing by the day. The demand forthe use of plastic materials both at home and in the industries leadsto an increase production of plastics. Only a third of all theplastics production the United States is recycled (Scott, 2013). Therest ends up in landfills or heaps. Plastics manufacturers usenon-biodegradable materials can remain in the soil for many yearswithout decaying. Recycling plastics has both economic andenvironmental benefits. Recycling companies like Mohawk employ a bignumber of workers both in the plant and in the field (Cross, 2015). When the company collects waste plastics, the load disposed into theenvironment reduces. However, a continued production without asimilar intensity to recycle may not have desirable economic andenvironmental benefits.

Ways that People Depend on the Process

Mohawk strives to recycle as much waste as possible. Every year, thecompany recycles approximately 3 billion pounds of plastics (Cross,2015). Almost every household in the United States depends onplastics for their shopping or storage. However, there is an observedpoor recycling method and it makes the supply of plastics to therecycling industries problematic. Mohawk is an outstanding companyand investors have put more than $180 million in acquiring assets andexpertise to aid in the recycling process. Out of all the plasticsproduced in the United States, more than 60% ends up in the landfills(Scott, 2013). Although land filling is one of the methods that aredeemed appropriate for the protection of the ecosystem, the spacesset aside for land filling may fill up shortly. The short-term remedywould be to look for another area and introduce land filling.However, recycling would be the most viable and sustainable method ofgetting rid f the plastics in the environment.

Secondly, the health of the ecosystem depends on people’sresponsibility for recycling and dumping. Most o the plastics used athome cannot be re-used in other activities (Cross, 2015). Forexample, Food cans wrapper among others. Once they are removed forthe products they cover, the users can only churn them for recyclingor dispose of them appropriately. Most of the citizens are obliviousto the benefits that they can get from recycled plastics. Theiractivities, therefore, should shift from dumping to recycling.

Mohawk Industries boast of producing high quality and durable carpetsfrom plastics. As the company’s vice president points out, thecompany concentrates on flooring since it is one of least ventured bythe recycling industries. Most of the companies concentrate onroofing, walls and interiors (Cross, 2015). For example, recycledwood is a common product in making interior fixtures. The companymakes carpets from recycled polyethylene and bottles. According tothe vice president, the sale of the carpets has been resoundingsuccess as most of the people find it attractive and long lasting.The carpet making technology has been around for more ah threedecades. Therefore, the company has invested in efficient technology.

Improving the recycling of plastic bottles is largely dependent uponchange the behavior observed in the consumers. However, the ecosystemis still suffering from the lack of information by the people on theeconomic and environmental benefits (Scott, 2013). Mohawk uses thesingle-steam recycling process that focuses on products with the samequality. The process is, therefore, uniform since all the productsturned in for recycling are subjected to the same conditions. Therationale for employing this method is that the commonly usedplastics both in the industries and at home have fairly the samedensity. Occasional inclusion of plastics materials with a higherdensity than preferred introduces the need to sort them out to avoidcompromising on the quality of the final product.

How the management can use the EGS framework to avoid the risks inthe business. As a company dealing with recycling of plastics, Mohawkfaces various problems that might derail its operation both the shortand the long run. First, the company is a problem in the supply ofused plastics despite the country having loads of plastics that endup in the landfills (Cross, 2015). The recycling companies competefor a third of the used plastics. The entrance of a new firm in theindustry results in a further reduction in supply as the competitionincreases. However, the problem would be solved if the majority ofthe people in the country had information on the possibility andimportance of recycling plastics. The environmental protection agencyplays an important role in shaping people’s behavior about people’sbehavior on recycling and responsible dumping. The body plays animportant role in deciding the fate of the used plastics. Since mostof the end up in landfills, it is evident that recycling is not apriority in the country.

Secondly, the company is facing a problem with the mixed quality ofplastics turned in for recycling. The mixed density of productsresults in overhead costs to sort out the plastics and get rid of theones with a higher density. Failure to perform the tasks wouldcompromise the quality of the final products. Classification of theplastics before turning them in for recycling can result in a speedyprocess and consequent reduction in the cost production. There havealso been several cases of complaints due to the poor quality ofcarpets. Despite the products having a lifetime warranty, some peoplehave expressed concern over the wearing out of the carpets afterthree years of use (Cross, 2015). Although the problem may arise fromineffective production, the presence of different qualities fproducts cannot be overlooked.

The management can apply the building blocks of EGS to counter thesechallenges. Some of the principles that the company can employinclude cleaner and healthier environment, climate change andmitigation and environmentally preferable products and services. Onethe major problems maiming the operations of the company is the lowsupply of the raw materials despite the country being one the highestprocedures of plastics (Cross, 2015). The issue of climate andmitigation is one of the priorities of the environmental activists.As a company, Mohawk may not succeed in isolation on the receivingend of the raw materials with receiving the support of the bodiesthat share similar sentiments. The management can approach the bodiesin support of the cleaner and healthier environment cause. Theprimary problem facing the citizens is that they are ignorant of therecycling procedures and benefits (Carbone, &amp Smith, 2010). Theenvironmentally preferable products produced by Mohawk may penetratethe market, and the increased demand will trigger the need foradditional raw materials. The objectives of the environmentalprotection agency support environmentally friendly products.Environmentally goods and services are in with these goals and Mohawkcan use this window to gunner support of the bodies.

The Rio principles of International environmental principles focus onthe role of EGS in preventing pollution through the application ofefficient and environmentally friendly methods (Carbone, &amp Smith,2010). The principles are in support of the companies that strive toreduce the amount of pollutants in the environment. The GES frameworkhelps in categorizing pollutants in their different classes dependingon their density and quality (Chouchiani, 2012). The problem facingthe company emanates from different densities of the waste materialand can be settled by using this framework. On the same note, EGSframeworks propose the use of energy efficient methods that cansignificantly reduce the cost of production in the company(Chouchiani, 2012). The future of the Mohawk would be subject toexpanded production methods as more people would turn all kinds ofplastics for recycling. Using the classification given by theframework and through the application of the internal expertise, themanagement can reduce the low supply.

The EGS framework also provides for the effective methods for boththe developing and the developed countries. In the developedcountries, the framework proposes for the production of recycledmaterials to use in infrastructural development (Chouchiani, 2012).Mohawk operates in the United States where the economy is one of themost developed in the world. Therefore, the management can adopt theidea make internal changes in its structure and expand its productionto include the production of other materials that can be used ininfrastructural development. The current investment only allowsrecycling of three billion pounds of plastics. If the management isto expand the production and introduce the recycling of variedqualities of products, then, it should woo investors to pit in moreresources. The idea is viable since the production of environmentallyfriendly materials is an idea conceived by many investors.

Lastly, environmental goods and services support green protectionismthat involves the use of energy efficient methods and increasedemployment in the recycling companies (Chouchiani, 2012). Theplastics industry is the third largest employer in the United States.Recycling of the plastics will employ more workers. The applicationof the framework by the management would result in the setting of newobjectives regarding the amount of supplies and products. The carpetsmanufactured by Mohawk have proved that the environmentally friendlyproducts have a place in the American society. Therefore, if themanagement outsources for additional expertise in the company, theconsumers will have a range of products to choose. The idea will alsocontribute toward solving the problem of low supply since usingplastics of various qualities can result in a significant increase inthe loads of plastics that the company uses as raw materials.

Finally, it is important to create awareness of the products thatpeople can get from plastics since the authorities cannot introducean impromptu ban on the manufacturing of plastics. However,encouraging their recycling can increase their reuse and reduce theamount of loads put in the landfills. Maximizing the products derivedfrom the process can attract many investors and support from bothprivate and government institutions. The heaps of plastics bottles,cans, and wrappers in the environment in the country and other partsof the world is evidence of the oblivious nature of people theproducts they can get from recycling (Scott, 2013). While supportingthe idea of banning plastics in future in preference forbio-degradable materials, it would serve a great purpose in theshort-run to recycle and create awareness of the alternative productsthat people can get from recycling plastics.


Buekens, A., &ampYang, J. (2014). Recycling of WEEE plastics: A review. Journal ofMaterial Cycles and Waste Management, 16(3), 415-434.

Carbone, J., &amp Smith, V. (2010). Valuing ecosystem services ingeneral equilibrium. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau ofEconomic Research

Chouchiani, C.(2012). United Nations Economic and Social Commission for WesternAsia (UN-ESCWA). Retrieved from

Cross, J. (2015). GreenBiz: Navigating roadblocks to recycledcontent. Retrieved on 20th January from

Scott, G. (Ed.).(2013). Degradable polymers: principles and applications. NewYork N.Y: Springer Science &amp Business Media.